The new U.K. prime minister’s golf swing isn’t as bad as it looks

July 25, 2019

The United Kingdom has a new prime minister: Boris Johnson, a long-time Euroskeptic MP who pledges to finalize the Brexit process and pull the U.K. out of the European Union by the Oct. 31 deadline, deal or no deal.

But enough about all those issues. Around these parts, we focus on the real issues. The issues related to the new prime minister’s golf swing.

We have exactly one bit of footage of Boris’s golf swing: during a 2014 photo-op with none other than Rory McIlroy. When viewed in real time, the prime minister’s swing isn’t exactly Order of Merit worthy, but a closer look reveals there’s actually cause for hope.

The first thing that needs addressing is the grip, which is a disaster. A split-handed design presumably inspired from his days playing cricket. It really is the primary cause of the faults in Boris’s otherwise decent swing.

Setup is all right. Not ideal, but for a beginning golfer, he’s in a decent spot with his spine angle and legs. His stance is a bit wide, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Boris’s backswing is pretty solid, too. His weight shifts well, and even though he doesn’t turn as much as I’d like to see (which costs him power), it’s not the end of the world for a new golfer. He puts himself in a pretty foolproof position to make contact with the ball.

This is where Boris’ grip comes back to haunt him. His wrists break down through the ball and it all gets a little scoopy. It costs him power and prevents him from making solid contact as often as he’d like.

Along the way, Boris also keeps a touch too much weight on his right side (partly because his stance is too wide). If he got more on his left side, he’d get better compression on the ball and reduce that scoop he’s got going.

But all in all, not terrible for a beginning golfer. Fix that grip, and he’d be well on his way.